The personal is political, that much I know. Politics is not something that happens in the abstract, in some dusty halls filled with dusty old men, with no relevance to you or your life. It happens in your school, your workplace, your kitchen, your bedroom.
Lifestyle blogging is personal, right? It's about what happens in your school, your workplace, your kitchen, your bedroom. And yet lifestyle blogging is strangely depoliticised. I can count on one hand the number of blogs I have read about a 'political' subject (that weren't about Rihanna and why she's a danger to society) - and yet lifestyle bloggers, like all other human beings, are political subjects.
I can't decide whether this is due to the demographics of the lifestyle blogging community, or whether it is because blogging is a pleasant escape from reality. In my case, I think it is a bit of both. I can choose whether I want to discuss politics. I can choose to focus on recipes and outfits and what I did at the weekend, and not have those things tinged with a political undertone because I live a charmed life (even if I do say so myself). Not everyone has such a luxury, of course. Have you ever seen an unmoderated comments section on a plus size woman's blog who has chosen to write about the macaroni and cheese she had for lunch - it's brutal. And yet I, a size 8-10, could write about cake and cheese and fast food until the cows come home (or don't, because they're in my cheeseburger), and no one would think to pass comment about how 'unhealthy' I am, and how they're 'just concerned' about me. That shit is political, yo.
I don't want my blog to be depoliticised, because my life isn't. Sitting around at the pub and discussing politics is one of my favourite past times, and I would pick up 'Chavs' by Owen Jones before any fictional bestseller (except Harry Potter, obviously - but I could also talk for an age about the political implications of that, let me tell you!). I'm a feminist and I came to blogging through the feminist and sex-positive blogosphere. Whilst I like the escape that talking about clothes, food and parties brings, that's not all I'm about - so that's not all I want my blog to be about.
Is the reason that blogs have become depoliticised because they can now be profitable? If you take a strong stance on an issue, no doubt your readership might take offence. And an offended readership is not one that can be easily monetised. It has certainly censored me in the past, the thought of offending people with my 'radical' (but not so Radical) stance. If you want people to read your blog, you certainly don't want to be offending them.
But perhaps we sell our readership too short. I, for one, enjoy blogs the most when they do discuss, or at least acknowledge, the political world we live in. That doesn't mean a nuanced discussion of the failings of the ConDems, or an analysis of the origins of Thatcherism - although I would be interested in those topics. Rather, I like those that acknowledge that their personal lives are political, that everything we do is connected and even posting an outfit post has implications. That doesn't mean outfit posts and nail varnish reviews and brownie recipes are bad, just that they are more interesting underneath the surface than we maybe give them credit for.
So I do think that politics can and should have a place in lifestyle blogging, in any kind of blogging - and I intend to start including it more here at Amy Elizabeth. What do you think?